Patricia de Lille. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Patricia de Lille. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Patricia de Lille's bid to stop the DA from saying it had fired her and publicly apologise to her, has been postponed indefinitely. 

On Friday, the High Court in the Western Cape found that the matter was not urgent and should rather be considered by the electoral court, the DA's Mike Moriarty said.

De Lille had approached the high court to seek an urgent interdict against the DA to “stop their lies”. She said the DA refused to stop their messaging about her and instead opted to review the Electoral Commission of SA's (IEC’s) decision, which she described as a way to continue “their malicious lies against me”. 

De Lille said she was happy the court had read her papers and understood the context of the case.

"The judge was clear that the IEC is a constitutional structure and that the IEC made a finding that the DA"s statements are false," she said on Friday. "That finding stands. The DA are still blue liars."

De Lille, who now leads the Good party, lodged a complaint with the IEC over the messaging used in telecanvassing by the DA.

The IEC found that the DA had violated the electoral code of conduct after it spread false information about De Lille, who it said was fired from her job as mayor.

But the DA has now turned to the electoral court to review the IEC's decision and set it aside.

In the meantime, De Lille had approached the high court in a bid to force the party to publicly apologise to her. 

"We stand by our position that Ms de Lille jumped before she was pushed and that she faces criminal charges for a variety of wrongdoing during her tenure as mayor," Moriarty said.

De Lille and the DA were embroiled in a protracted battle in which the party attempted to have her removed from office. The fight culminated in De Lille agreeing to resign from the party.

Moriarty said the High Court's decision vindicated the DA's position.

In its papers lodged with the electoral court on the matter, the DA is arguing that if the IEC is granted the power to police election speech by political parties, it would ultimately undermine the freedom and fairness of the country’s elections.

The party described the IEC’s  decision on the De Lille matter as unlawful, saying the commission did not have the power to give binding directions. It argued that this power resided with the electoral court. 

The DA is also challenging the IEC’s decision to not look into a complaint laid by the party about the ANC’s claim that it made a profit of R1bn by raising water tariffs in Cape Town.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za